A Blogging Dilemma

So when I started re-blogging after many years, I had so much content to get off my chest, that I literally had a blog scheduled twice a week for 6 weeks in advance. I was just spewing them out like a mad dog with rabies!!

I started again during the original lockdown. My weekend business, which is a kiddies party venue, had obviously been put on involuntary hold due to COVID, and my other jobs had had their hours reduced due to COVID. So my drop of mercury, Pepper, was explaining that times have changed (aka ”you are old”), and that it was possible for people to make money in todays times by earning a passive income. He also mentioned that it could well be something one enjoys, or a hobby. Of course, because I am so bloody old, I could not wrap my head around such a ridiculous notion. For me, money could only be made by hard work, sweat and tears. That was just the way of the world……..you know, all old school like.

After prodding and nudging my brain to find an interest I could monetise, we had concluded one thing for certain….. I was a miserable old witch who enjoyed nothing. But then I had told him about how I used to enjoy blogging in my previous life. 
So there he was trying to YouTube tutorial me to death by showing how a blog can be monetised. Typically, I followed NONE of the principles and guidelines suggested, well actually followed none of what those young pubescent multi millionaire YouTubers were trying to tell me, and landed up blogging again, but in an un-monetised kinda way.

During that time, we all had more time on our hands, we all reflected more…why not give it a bash, I had thought. 

Now you need to understand that reflecting and time to think are two of my biggest pet hates. I prefer NEVER to have time to think, as that is when all those wretched emotions and dreadful feelings start coming to the surface. No Siree Bob…not my definition of life.

So after a while, I had noticed that those days of blogs being scheduled twice a week for 6 weeks in advance, had become blogs that had been scheduled only 2 weeks in advance, and had felt some kind of inane pressure to ensure that I had kept on top of this blogging thing.

So I argued, in order to not put myself under any undue pressure….you know…..for this thing they call a hobby….enjoyment….I would post only weekly on a Sunday. In that way I would ensure that my blogs were written organically, as they should be. And that is what has been happening for a while now. Truth be told, this works out better for me.

Anyhoooooooooooooo….the other day I decided to have a looksee at how many blogs I had scheduled, as I did not remember knocking one out for a minute. To my utter horror, I had only one more!! My mind has been busy on other issues, and in addition to that,  I have been starting to get bookings for my weekend party venue business, as we are able to restart for a third time since COVID struck. So as a result I have had less time to reflect, and have neglected my blogging.

It caused total panic in the thing they call my head, and I realised it was of the utmost urgency that I needed to get back to my blogging. Because you must surely understand that I would lose all my sponsors and endorsements, and not to forget how truly disappointed my 0.5 followers would be if Sunday rolled around and there was no blog posted????

But to be honest, you cannot just sit down and write a blog. Everyone knows, us creative geniuses need some sort of inspiration to create our masterpieces.

Generally, the only time I have no choice but to reflect, is in my free time. Now for me, ”free time” will NEVER amount to ”quiet time”. Nooooo, cannot have quiet…too dangerous for the psyche. I am either working or watching T.V. Hence the mind is being occupied. What would amount to other peoples’ ”quiet time”, would be when I am listening to music. So generally, my quiet time is driving or walking and listening to music. This is as close as I get to quiet time or reflection. So while I am listening to music, my mind cannot but wander off here and there, AND BAM…there begins the process of the seed germination for each blog.

Couple of problems though…..First problem was, most often I would forget everything I had so brilliantly and coherently drafted in my mind, once I sat in front of the screen to write it. So I found myself scrambling for a piece of paper and a pen or my phone to put voice notes as reminders. Wow look at me taking my artistry and creativity to a new level of brilliance!!
Next problem was unfortunately that, once I sat down and read some of the stuff which in my mind sounded like the most hysterical and or poignant thing I had ever heard in my life, it fell so absolutely and completely flat when I read it back. But again, us creative prodigies tweak here and adjust there, and we get right back on track!!

Point being, that when I have been walking or driving and listening to music, my mind has been elsewhere, and hence I have not come up with as much content for my blogs.
So I have been thinking perhaps to just cancel my WordPress subscription, and just give this blogging a miss. Typically, if I cannot do it completely and totally, I shall not do it at all!! Perhaps the 15 minutes of blogging was yet another chapter in my life that I needed to move on from, I wondered. Alternatively, it could be revisited, as I had done during this chapter. But if you knew me well enough, you would know that I do not do well with closing chapters. No, I would still be on Chapter 1 of the life and times of Grumpy Mummy if I could. No chapters…no change…..same same, day in and day out….for the rest of my life. It’s a little known condition that affects some called A COMFORT ZONE!!!!

However, I think I have also been finding my blogging very therapeutic. I think I tend to rant and rave marginally less, as I can now do so in the comfort of my relationship with my blogs. Of course the most important advantage of that, is that I am slightly less offensive in person. Because, believe it or not, I do not enjoy being honest, passionate and authentic. I wish I could just keep my mouth shut like most people, and just stay on everyone’s good side. But nope….on the few occasions that I have tried that ridiculous behaviour, I have felt like I was slowly erupting a la volcano style.

Of course sitting in front of a blank screen, all ”writer’s block” like also defeats the purpose. I mean, my whole life revolves around honesty and authenticity. Who the bloody hell wants to start LOOKING for content when one’s livelihood does not depend on it?

So, essentially, the reason for this here blog, is to inform you, my thousands of readers, sponsors and endorsers, that should a Sunday roll by and I have not published a blog….get over yourself, you will survive…..not sure how I will cope with that though!!!

That Point Where the Line Between Virtuous Behaviour and Obsessively Compulsive Behaviour is Crossed ??

So, let me introduce myself…..I am totally and utterly honest. I think by now we have established that I speak my truth. But this is about making what I believe are honest decisions. Not because I am extraordinarily upright and virtuous, but because I believe so much in Karma, that even if Karma did not exist, I would be so obsessed with thoughts of it, that that b***h would eventually come to bite me in my bum anyway.

Full disclosure…….in my youth, there were about 7 minutes of dishonest behaviour on my part.

I remember when I was but a cub, my mom and I went into a local stationary shop, and she had somehow forgotten to pay for something. When we got home she realised this, was mortified, and said that we needed to take it back immediately. I was slightly annoyed at her ridiculously virtuous behaviour, and told her to see it as a gratuity. Although in retrospect, the annoyance was possibly linked to the fact that I did not feel like traipsing off to the shop again. But noooo, off we traipsed to return it.

In my early teens, my friends and I dabbled in the life of crime. We went through a delinquent phase, where we used to dare each other to steal petty things. It was all for the thrill and exhilaration of it. This is not me trying to justify it, just explaining the reason for my behaviour. Concerning behaviour, I will admit, but all ended well, as it was very brief, and none of us became kleptomaniacs or hardened criminals……that I know of…….yet!! Mind you, probably did not end quite as well for the people we had stolen from……but  pilferage is all part of the perils of being a shop owner isn’t it? 

Another full disclosure….never felt a shred of guilt! Quite concerning indeed!! Anyway……..can we please move on from this dammit?? It is over!! Done and dusted!! Stop laying a guilt trip on me…….leave it be!!!!

So other than my brief brush with kleptomania, and the fact that I felt being ”too honest” was going overboard, I have led a ridiculously honest existence. 

I also have a phobia about accepting gratuities. I have never believed something can be given as a gratuity without there being any strings attached. I mean, offer my child a sweet, and I KNOW you’ll be phoning me to drive you to the airport ay 2am in the future. Or even worse, you will tell anyone who will listen how you fed my children when they were growing up!! Over the years, my children have probably missed out on a number of opportunities on account of my refusing anything gratuitous, but I can proudly say that they learnt from my behaviour, and turned out just like me in this regard.

So taking the above into account, I was put to the ultimate test last week. Since COVID I have become a pro online shopper (aka ” a compulsive online shopper”). Not clothing, and all things decadent mind you. No……just the shopping that most humans go to the shops for. Even my weekly grocery shop is done online. 

In the heart of the lockdown, a very forward thinking chain store decided to launch an App, whereby you could order your groceries online, and within 60 minutes, they would be delivered to your doorstep….voila!! They have stuck to their promise every time I have ordered. I mean, who needs problems with parking, faulty trolley navigation, queuing and, well, human interaction, when all you need to do is click, click, click, checkout and never leave the house?? Not me I tell you!

Initially I started placing my order as I was leaving work on a Wednesday, which is about 15 minutes from my home. But the bloody efficiency of it all…they always arrived shortly before I managed to get home. Then there would be a whole catastrophe, as the one Security Guard at the gate of our complex and myself have a hate-hate relationship at best!! Obviously that was the man on duty every Wednesday. He would not even call me, which is literally the only job he is employed to do, and would tell the driver I am not home. All the while I would be receiving notifications that my order was received…….my shopping had commenced…….my shopping was completed…..my delivery was on its way……my delivery had arrived and I must ”listen for the doorbell”. Needless to say, I would not have heard the doorbell, as my doorbell was supposed to be the call from the spiteful, bitter and twisted security guard. Not only that, I would by that stage have been driving with an aggressive attitude, making rude gestures to all and sundry, displaying a complete lack of patience, and more than likely tailgated across intersections when traffic lights were out of order.

”Do you have to order it on that day and at that time?”  I hear you ask? Well no, certainly not. It could quite easily have been ordered at a different time or on a more convenient day, but why would I make life less stressful for myself?? What would I possibly do with one more stressful thing to worry about??

So, the last few weeks I have gotten wiser, and placed my order WHILE driving with an aggressive attitude, making rude gestures at all and sundry, displaying a complete lack of patience, and more than likely tailgated across intersections when traffic lights were out of order. I know that sounds irresponsible, but my trolley had already been completed earlier in the morning. I just had to click, click, click, checkout and continue driving in the aforesaid manner. Okay…..agreed, still irresponsible, but….let’s just move on shall we? 

So, on the day in question, I had arrived home about 30 seconds before the driver arrived, it had started raining, I darted inside my house, and my little helpful Salty said he would collect the parcels. He then walked in to share what an amazing guy the driver was, and asked if they were always that pleasant.

”Well of course they are….this is the best, most efficient miracle of an App from start to finish”, I declared.

As always, I replied to the survey, which gets sent 0.05 seconds after they have delivered. Happy with the service? Check. All arrived in order? Check. Driver friendly and professional? Check, check and one more check for my Salty!!

As always, I proceeded to rip the stickers off, and ferociously pack the groceries so that I could start dinner, as I am always STARVING when I get home from work, and THIS FLIPPING INCONVENIENT TIME that this needs to be done, BUT ACTUALLY COULD BE DONE AT A MORE CONVENIENT TIME, is keeping me from preparing my feast.

And then…it happened….finally they had faulted. I realised that I had someone else’s one parcel. Oh nooooooooooooo, I thought, I need to get hold of the driver to come back. My main concern was less about the person who had received one parcel short, and more about the fact that the driver was going to suffer some sort of repercussion. And Salty said he was so sweet!!

But try as I might, I could not retrace who the driver was. So my next thought was to log a problem on the App. But then I would be getting the driver into trouble?? No, I would just take it as a lucky packet.

I continued unpacking, but it was burning a hole in my brain. So, I logged the problem, but begged them not to take any disciplinary steps against the driver, or take the money off his pay. I mentioned that I have had nothing but first class service in the past, and I have set the items aside for collection in the morning. Of course this monster of an establishment cared about my pleas for clemency……not.

Anyway a sleepless night ensued, as I had ”unworthy” groceries in my house, and a driver might lose his job.

By the time they emailed me back the next day, they had thanked me for my honesty, said it was their mistake, and I should keep the items. Well, how could I?? Nothing is for free? I would somehow be paying for this later? No….not to be touched, I thought.

So I decided that I had two choices, either find a person in need, and give the bag to him, or keep it for my helper, who comes twice a week. This was of course on the Wednesday, and she would only be coming again on the Monday, but I had hoped that the already tired looking lettuce would survive until then.

I guarded this with my life. When I told Pepper what had happened, he shrieked with delight and asked whether there was any ”nice stuff’ in there. 

”None of your business, we not keeping it”, I sternly replied.

”But why?” he asked, totally confused by my reply.

”Because we did not pay for it!”

”But we got it and it is here”, he responded, to what he believed my upright and virtuous behaviour of one living in No Man’s Land.

So naturally, on the Monday the mission was successfully completed once the contents of the parcel were deftly handed over to my helper, wilted lettuce included!!

Social Anxiety…..Working With What Ya Got!

So, little known fact….. I am a shy, shrinking and self conscious piece of work, which in turn comes across as arrogant, confident and rude (well known fact).

I have suffered from this disorder for as long as I can remember. But as I have gotten older, I had just assumed that I had grown out of it to a large extent. However, I recently realised that actually, I have just subconsciously managed to build my life around it. Through maturity (old age), I have learnt of ways to only allow myself to be in social situations that I can feel comfortable with, and surround myself with people I feel comfortable with. Of course, this is not ALWAYS going to be possible (unfortunately), and in attempting to weed out the ”can do me’s” from the ”cannot do me’s”, I have offended many. 

So essentially my family have had no choice, and my friends who have accepted me for the way I portray myself, are the friends that see beneath the surface, understand me and are those that I feel most myself and safe with. Of Course there have been some lightweights over the years that have come and gone…..but for me that was just excess baggage that needed to be thrown overboard…..so you don’t get me? Abracadabra, hocus pocus….where did you go??? 

Now the word ”unapproachable” has been bandied around a number of times by friends and family over the years, none of which I have found offensive, as it is all perfectly true! Besides my awful personality disorder, I also have a very unapproachable and grumpy resting face. Even I myself have on occasion been taken aback when I have seen photos of myself, or have inadvertently caught a glimpse of my reflection somewhere. And that is my ”happy face”, so I can ONLY IMAGINE what my not so happy face looks like.

If I am together with other humans, and everyone is having fun and enjoying themselves, even when I am having a whale of a time, I, in all probability have the face that gets people wondering ”I wonder if she’s enjoying herself?” Or even worse, ”she looks like she’s hating every minute of it!”

What people don’t understand is that if I’m not enjoying myself, there will not even be a shred of doubt in that regard. So……to keep you up to speed…….angry and/or irritable and/or grumpy face….having fun. Angry and/or irritable and/or grumpy face……hating every second of it. Not so confusing surely???

I was never that person, nor will I ever be that person, who when having oodles of fun, displays  joyous, jovial,  jubilant, uproarious, and backslapping jollification. In my dreams and fantasies….sure…and yet………angry and/or irritable and/or grumpy face.

Unfortunately, it took me until fairly recently to see what other people see. I knew what other people thought, but never actually saw what they saw. It is quite frightening actually. But as I said, it seems I have craftily managed to live my life around these issues.

Now in case you thought that was where my social disabilities ended, you 
could not be more wrong!! I am not going to paint myself as a paragon of virtue, I mean I swear I smoke, I drink……… none of these excessively (well maybe the swearing), but one thing I cannot deal with is CRUDENESS OR VULGARITY!!!!! If I am in the presence of a song, film, tv show or person where this type of behaviour is being displayed, every hair stands up in a ridge along my spine, sometimes ending in a puff of erect hair at the base of my tail……. oops, sorry that’s an agitated cat….but same same!

The minute something is threatening to be visually or verbally crude, I will get up and leave the building. If I am not in a position to do this I feel very trapped and angry that I have had no choice but to endure the situation.

A lot of times, the line between humour and vulgarity is so faint that even I myself sometimes get ambushed into allowing the situation to cross the line into vulgarity before realising that this has actually happened. Then I am REALLY p***ed off!! 

So now I was recently invited to a bridal shower for a work colleague, and not having been to that many in my lifetime, or certainly not for the last thousand years, I did not really know what to expect. 

At this particular shower one of the friends had organised a male entertainer. Now this might sound very raunchy, but for the most part it was just pure innocent fun. Well, other than the inbetweeners that crossed that line from funny to crude, but not offensive to a normal human being…..of which I think we have established by now, I am not. 

So in walks this Adonis of a man child, probably around my son Pepper’s age. He was acting very ”normally” when introducing himself, and getting ready for all the ”fun games” he was going to entertain us with. At that stage, the only (in my mind) cringeworthy behaviour, was when chatting to us, he made sure that he put his arm around each of the ladies seated at the table. There were squeals of delight from all the ladies, but me….I wanted to take him down by reaching over my shoulder, grabbing his wrist, and throwing him over my shoulder, only befitting a martial arts expert. Firstly…….best you stay on the perimeter of my pretend bubble! Secondly……COVID!!!!!!

Now, if I had joined in with the others earlier, and had a few drinks, I might not have been QUITE so uptight, but I was driving so refrained from doing so.

Thank the heavens above, he immediately realised I was not gonna be like the others. Perception perhaps? Angry and/or irritable and/or grumpy face perhaps? Or perhaps it was holy f**k expressions on my face?

In case you think that I could not have felt more awkward, I just need to mention that my son Salt had been asked to take the photos of the function. Cannot lie….best thing that could have happened. The bride-to-be was asked to pick a partner for the first game, and she said that she would have picked me, but my son was standing right behind me. Bless her soul. She knows me well and I think she just wanted to assist with any doubt that the man child possibly had left, in case the holy f**k expression didn’t give it away.

So there I sat…observing…as I do…the remaining 45 minutes of the entertainment. To be honest, he was very entertaining. He really had the ladies squealing with delight, laughing and just all round having fun, fun, fun. 

But me….despite the fact that I was actually for the most part (vulgarity excluded) enjoying myself, could literally feel myself bringing the room down. You know when you are having fun in a group, and there is that ONE person, throwing disapproving and judgemental looks at everyone? The person that manages to make everyone who even cares, feel like they just rolled in from the land of the uncivilized, ill bred and uncouth? Yep…I felt like that person.

That got me thinking about how my whole life has revolved around sitting on the outside, fantasizing about how I wished I could throw all my inhibitions to the curb, and just join in with the fun. You miss out on a whole life by having this wretched social disability.

But, like so many before me, and so many to come, you is what you is, and you just have to work with what ya got as best you can.